Women’s volleyball wins over Trent in straight sets

Gaels remain second in OUA East

Women's volleyball are second in the OUA East with an 8-3 record.
Women's volleyball are second in the OUA East with an 8-3 record.

Women’s volleyball stayed the course this weekend, coming away with a commanding home win over the Trent Excalibur in straight sets and improving to 8-3 on the season.

Despite Trent’s standing in the OUA — the Excalibur are 0-10 and rank bottom of their division — Gaels head coach Ryan Ratushniak said he was pleased with his team’s play. Ratushniak added his team should treat matchups against lower-ranking teams as opportunities to help develop and refine their on-court rhythm.  

“I’m more pleased with the process and the way we played than the actual result,” he said of the win. “Trent is one of the weaker teams in our conference from a competitive standpoint, but you still have to go out on the court and perform and play well.”

After they split games against York and Nipissing last weekend, Ratushniak told The Journal his team had areas to improve on prior to facing off against the Excalibur.

“[W]e identified blocking as one of our weaknesses, so we really focused on blocking this week,” Ratushniak said. “And as a result, I think that helped [and] it bodes well for our future.” Queen’s had 11 blocks to Trent’s one on Sunday afternoon. 

Although one win might not seem like a lot, it has a larger impact on the season as a whole.

“Anytime you’re successful and able to execute your systems the way you want to … [it] helps build confidence,” the first-year coach said. “[W]e’re trending in the right direction, getting better every day and every week — and that’s our only focus right now.”

While things are going well for the Gaels — they currently rank second in the OUA East — they won’t get any easier with their upcoming round of games. Queen’s travels to Toronto next weekend, where they’ll face off against two of the top teams in their division, U of T and Ryerson.

“Big challenge, for sure,” Ratushniak said of how he feels heading into his team’s coming road trip. “Two of the top, I would say, three or four teams in the OUA.” U of T is tied with Queen’s at 8-3, while Ryerson — who rank first in the OUA East — are the conference’s last remaining undefeated team at 12-0.

Despite the challenge, Ratushniak said the Gaels’ next pair of games will give them “a chance to see where [they’re] at in terms of play, execution and mental [fortitude].”

Winning at least one of their next two games will be essential to the Gaels’ hopes of securing a home-game playoff berth this season. But don’t expect this team to look too far ahead into the future. Throughout the season, Ratushniak has preached a message of “staying in the moment” — and this coming weekend will be no different.

“I’m not going to make any predictions, but we’re going to just try and focus on playing in the moment, staying in the moment, and hopefully with all the training we’ve done, the results will take care of themselves,” Ratushniak said.

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